Circuit World, Vol. 33, NO. 2, pp. 4-9, 2007

Regulations and Market Trends in Lead-free and Halogen-free Electronics

Lei Nie and Michael Pecht
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Purpose - This paper seeks to investigate the electronics industry's reaction to environmental regulations specifically in terms of lead-free solders and halogen-free flame-retardants (FRs).
Design/methodology/approach - This work achieves its objective by discussing the various international environmental regulations pertaining to electronics manufacturing and relating the industry reactions to those regulations. It also provides the market trends related to lead- and halogen-free products. The electronics industry is pursuing lead-free solders and halogen-free FRs, in part due to regulations. However, the paper includes examples of how the industry is successful in implementing environmentally friendly changes.
Findings - The authors compared regulations from Japan, the European Union, the USA, and China. While the regulations themselves vary in scope, industry actions to find alternatives do have common purposes. Electronics manufacturers recognize that environmentally motivated changes are beneficial in terms of waste minimization.
Research limitations/implications - Electronics manufacturers that are interested in green design will benefit from understanding present regulations. They will also benefit from the included examples of product and process improvement for the purpose of environmental compatibility.
Originality/value - This paper derives its perspective from a similar review of literature and company findings that the authors completed in 2006. As refinement of the regulations has continued, the electronics industry has developed improvements in basic materials and processes.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.


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